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Rock Creek Felsenmeer

No. 324


Photo by Thomas A. Meyer/DNR


Rock Creek Felsenmeer features one of only three known felsenmeers in Wisconsin. Deposited during Pleistocene glaciation, the felsenmeer is an extensive accumulation, often a large slope, of large angular rock fragments transported by glacial ice and broken down from their parent material as a result of frost and ice-wedging. Rock Creek Felsenmeer contains a talus slope of quartzite, a brittle metamorphic rock that is susceptible to frost-wedging.

Felsenmeer communities are characterized by all-summer upwellings of cool, moist air near or at their bases although it is not certain whether year-round ice deposits are responsible for the upwelling of cool air. The cool air drainage in and around the rock field creates a microclimate suitable for numerous mosses, lichens, and liverworts. The shaded microclimate also provides the required habitat for two rare plants that are usually found further north. Rock Creek Felsenmeer is owned by Barron County and was designated a State Natural Area in 1997.

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for various recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the Maps tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

The good majority of SNAs are isolated and have few or no facilities. Some SNAs have vehicle access lanes or parking lots, but their accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions. Parking lots and lanes are not plowed during winter. Hiking trails may be nonexistent or consist of undeveloped footpaths. A GPS unit or compass and a detailed topographic map are useful tools for exploring larger SNAs.

Non-DNR lands

Entrance fees: For non-DNR-owned SNAs, we are unaware of any vehicle or admission fees. However, please contact the landowner for more information.

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR-owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the landowner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the Resources tab.

Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.


Within Barron County Forest, Barron County. T35N-R10W, Sections 34, 35. 70 acres.

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 48 and 53 in Rice Lake, go east on 48 for 9.2 miles, then south on County NN for 2.1 miles, then east and south on County C for 1.1 miles, then south on 27 1/2 Street for 0.5 miles to a parking area. The natural area can be accessed via the Felsenmeer Trail loop. The felsenmeers are treeless rock piles.

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities.

Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details. The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries. To create your custom map where you can zoom to a specific location, please use the DNR's Mapping Application.

Property Map [PDF]

Rock Creek Felsenmeer is owned by: Barron County